Kale and cabbage salad with cashew-sesame dressing (vegan/gf)

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Have I mentioned that I love kale?  I believe I have, but the topic merits re-visiting.  It’s especially wonderful in winter, on those days when all I want is GREEN and delicate salad greens are hard to come by (unless you bully other people out of the way at the farmers’ market, and that’s just not my style).  Well the other night, Travis was coming home late from a work outing involving food and I knew he wouldn’t be hungry for a full meal (and I didn’t really feel like cooking something hot anyway), so I checked the fridge to inspire me.  Lo and behold, I had a bunch of kale and also some beautiful purple cabbage from the market.  I knew I wanted to make a salad, but the dish didn’t click in my head until I thought to use a cashew dressing, much like the one I like to use on noodles/rice/quinoa, as described here.  Long story short, it was so delicious that we ate some, and then ate some more… and then we had to stop ourselves from being stuffed with the amazingness.

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Kale and cabbage salad with cashew-sesame dressing

Other ideas for add-ins:  leftover quinoa or rice, more carrot, onions (yellow/white, green, red – whatever!), raisins… Let your creativity (guided by your pantry options!) run wild!

1/2 package tofu, pressed and cubed

6 cups kale, stems removed, rinsed and dried thoroughly, and chopped

1 carrot, shredded

1 small cabbage (or 1/2 regular-sized cabbage), rinsed and dried thoroughly and thinly sliced

Dressing:

4 TBS sesame oil

5 TBS rice vinegar

4 TBS tamari/soy sauce (tamari is gluten-free)

1 TBS sugar

1 TBS red curry paste

1 tsp ground ginger

1 TBS sesame seeds

1 TBS nutritional yeast (optional, but it adds a little texture and it’s good healthy stuff, so I say, bring it on!)

pinch cayenne

1 clove garlic, pressed/grated

1/4 cup cashews

Garnish (optional):

sesame seeds

cashews, whole and/or broken apart

drizzle of tamari and sesame oil

Saute tofu over medium heat until golden.  Blend together all dressing ingredients.  Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl, then add dressing and toss.  NOTE:  You might want to let the salad sit for a few minutes (or more, if you have the time/patience), so that the kale and cabbage really marinade in the tasty dressing.  Unlike salads with delicate greens like lettuces and spinach, kale salads should be served with the dressing incorporated, and they definitely can be stored that way, because the kale is hearty enough to not wilt.  In fact, it will just become more tasty!  Enjoy!  :)

Serves 6-8, keeps covered in refrigerator for up to 3 days

IMG_3449I highly recommend purple cabbage for the beauty factor!   Gorgeous!

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